It looks like this election is going to be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In general, I’ve thought that Bernie Sanders would have been the better candidate against Trump. Now I don’t especially think that. For one thing, I’ve noted of late that Sanders doesn’t have the greatest campaign. He is right to say that he’s just the figurehead of a movement. And that movement is made up of people like me — people who feel the the Democratic Party has moved way too far to the right. And in that way, Sanders is a supporter of me, not the other way around.
But now, I’m thinking that Hillary Clinton really will be hard for any Republican to beat. I was very impressed with both Clinton and Sanders Thursday night. But I have to admit, every time I see Clinton she makes me think what I thought of Bill Clinton: there’s someone who the American people can think of as a president. She’s extremely good at all this. She walks a fine line that wouldn’t be necessary if she weren’t a woman, and she does it brilliantly. As I’ve stated from the beginning, she’s not my first choice, but she’s a fine choice.
Meanwhile, last week, BuzzFeed reported, In 2002, Donald Trump Said He Supported Invading Iraq. In September 2002, Howard Stern asked if he was in favor of the Iraq War, and Trump said, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” This isn’t a surprise at all. The vast majority of people supported the war at that time. What’s more, a vast number of people today who did support the war back then claim that they didn’t. And you can say a lot of things about Trump, but the truth is that he is a typical American:
I don’t think this is much going to hurt Donald Trump in the Republican primary. Nothing seems to hurt him in the Republican primary. But the opposition research on Donald Trump has to be so ridiculously extensive that he would be dead meat in the general election if he weren’t already deeply disliked. I understand that he was deeply disliked in the Republican Party before he started winning. But the truth is that he is still still deeply disliked in the Republican Party. Of course, they will all fall in line behind him eventually. But the only reason he is popular is because he willing to be deeply offensive to the one demographic group that the Republicans absolutely must get 30% to 40% of the vote from : Latinos.
So I have to provide my standard disclaimer: if the economy tanks, the Republicans have a really good shot at giving the Republicans the White House. But barring that, I don’t see them winning the election. Their only hope on that front would be to make this election on national security. (That would be ridiculous given how safe we are here at home, but stranger things have happened.) On that front, Bernie Sanders might be vulnerable. But Clinton wouldn’t be. If this is a national security election, Clinton is the best candidate there is. (That’s one of my biggest concerns about her!)
So the election is shaping up to be one that the Democrats win by default. If they don’t, it is because they screwed it up. But assuming Clinton is the candidate, I just want to say a word to my fellow Sanders supporters: you have to vote for Clinton. There never was going to be a political revolution. If you want to see real change in this country, then you have to fight for it, not this election cycle, but for the next four, five, six election cycles. Imagine how different things would have been in young people showed up at the polls in 2010 and Obama had had another two, four, or six years with a Democratic Congress? Whether Clinton or Sanders, or even Trump or Cruz, wins on 8 November 2016, the work doesn’t stop. It continues on and on until some things like universal healthcare and guaranteed income are truly taken for granted.